Tuesday, October 6, 2009

As I was saying...

Once in awhile, when PBS is trying to raise money or something, they'll put interesting programming on.* One of their staples during these times** is a series of documentaries about TV in the early days. I try to watch these each time they come on, even if I have seen the particular installment before. I enjoy trying to imagine what it must have been like. Today, we have several hundred channels to choose from... back in the day, folks would gather the family at the giant TV and gaze at a test pattern, marveling that the annoying tone and concentric circles were being broadcast all the way from downtown.

* - I kid, of course. I'm a fan. The Ken Burns National Parks Series last week was phenomenal.

** - "Pledge Drives", they call them. But I know you pretty well by now, and I suspect I didn't need to tell you that.

One of the things that I learned from watching these documentaries is that, in the early days, late night TV had some real geniuses. One of them, Jack Paar, got himself into an argument with his network TV hosts, and as such, left the airways for a spell. I don't recall any of the specifics, and, natch, I am too lazy to look them up. But I do recall that there was some doubt as to whether he would be coming back. And during the interim, since this was before The Daily Show, Nightline, or QVC, folks, either watched their local test pattern, or, heaven forbid, turned the TV off at night and turned in early. Or something.

Anyway, returning to what I DO recall from this story, Jack DID return. His studio audience applauded him wildly as the show opened, for some time, several minutes even. The applause died down, and then Jack paused. There was some tension in the studio. Would he acknowledge the "recent unpleasantness"? Would he take a moment to say bad things about NBC (I think it was NBC, but don't hold me to it)? Or would he go on as if nothing had happened, thereby creating the possibility that the tension would forever be unresolved?

He did none of those things. Or all of them, depending on your point of view. The first words out of his mouth were... "As I was saying..."

Laughter ensued, tension was broken, brief hiatus was simultaneously recognized and dismissed, and the world returned to normal.

What relevance does this have? Pretty much none. I am nowhere near as interesting as Jack Paar, I have not gone on hiatus because of some feud with Google, and, by all accounts, you've probably not noticed that it has been a couple weeks since my last post. And besides, even if all that were true, I totally forgot what we were talking about. Instead of "As I was saying," "Where were we?" is probably the more appropriate question.

Work has been very busy. I've spent various parts of the last two weeks in beautiful Appleton, Wisconsin and Holland, Michigan. There is talk of paying a visit to St. Louis next week. Remember, now, I am in software sales. And remember also (or perhaps you didn't know, since you weren't with us then, I'm looking at you, Moriarty) that July and August were disconcertingly slow. I had a lot to say then, and lots of bench / piano time. Today, not so much. But regard this as a good thing... salespeople like it when they are in the weeds.*

* Waiter term. Look it up. And it doesn't mean what you think. Shame on you.

The bad news, at least for our purposes, is that this pace results in a lighter posting schedule. I'll work on it, but no promises. Briefly, if I had been posting, I would be saying any or all of the following:

- Jillian continues to progress well in her lessons. And practice pretty much without being asked, although I think she over-reports her practice times to her teacher.
- I have missed two weeks in a row of lessons. Not to worry, Jillian has taken my time slots instead, and seems to be getting quite a lot out of the extra 30 minutes.
- Nevertheless, 10 minutes here, 30 there, I try to make progress on my own. I am almost ready to record a couple of Alfred's pieces for you. But I am growing concerned about my lack of progress on the Clementi Sonatina. That needs to be recital-ready in a month.
- I am finding myself reading a lot of "I just got my new piano" threads on PianoWorld. Which I really shouldn't be doing.

And, as you've come to expect, you'd see some kid pics. Sorry, not today.

I have to get back to work. I have to create a presentation explaining a prospective customer's pain points. You know, to show that I understand their problems, and how my company's software will help. Gripping stuff.

- Aw2pp, who knows how to improve the quality and outcome of business stakeholder reviews. No really, he does.

1 comment:

GranDeb said...

Two quick things from me aw2pp: (since I know you don't have much time to read)
1) don't worry about me, I have gone back and read all your posts....so consider me 'caught up'....nice reading btw...
2) I remember, even after I had babies, that the networks went off the air at, hmmm, midnight maybe...
very frustrating for insomniacs....and available reading material of 'Good Night Moon' and 'Where the Wild Things Are' just wasn't doin' it....

Happy Trails!